It's about people, process and technology

ARK Group's conference producer Nick Stone provides a round-up of key findings from this year's Digital Workplace conference that took place on 1 December 2016.

Transforming your organisation’s digital workplace experience is about delivering improved productivity, employee satisfaction and improved cost management. 

ARK Group's conference, Digital Workplace 2016 examined and evaluated the challenges and solutions on the long road to a truly digital workplace. And it really is about people, processes and technology.

Symon Garfield began by offering the digital workplace as a natural progression from the intranet and web browser. Workplace diversity and employee engagement are his drivers for change. Sainsbury’s Randy Silver built on this commentary by looking at brand reputations, employment surveys and the unmanaged personal use of digital workplace technology including, of course, Whatsapp. Existing social media tools can play their part and Simon Steer offered the audience the enterprise social model as a solution.

With the digital workplace, there’s data: big data. Steve Dale delivered an upbeat message on bid data’s contribution to ending the silo mentality, especially where businesses are exploiting machine learning and Internet of Things. From the Department for Education, Azim Akhtar provided solid case studies on the software support and realities on that path to the virtual workplace. John Bazley ended on that same theme of employee engagement highlighting the importance of stakeholder buy-in and benefits of a friendly online face.

The last word went to chairman and speaker Chris Shilling who offered this commentary:

“In their infancy, intranets were talked about as ‘the killer knowledge management app’. With 20 years of experience, the debate is finally moving from technologies for creating content to intranets as part of the digital workspace - the power of digital connectivity to enable better ways of working. The focus should be firmly on using extended intranets to support people and effective culture with tools and environments that improve work processes, integrating the mass of data that is now available to help in decision making.

The key message from the conference? Whatever blend of technologies you decide to adopt, it’s how you use them and the content you deliver through them that is most important.”

Nick produces conferences for Trade and Forfaiting Review and ARK Group. You can follow Nick on Twitter: @NickStoneARK